Fireworks and heartbreak

The holidays have been hard. The not-holidays have been hard. Each of us are affected differently by the absence of Kade. Each of us feel it stronger at times than the rest of us do.

Of course. We each had a separate, intimate relationship with Kadey, so we have separate, intimate mourning.

However, the Fourth of July is hitting ALL of us especially hard. This was a big holiday for us.

When Kade and Kyler were little, young may be better, they were horrible, awful boys. 😂😂

If you knew them then, this needs no explanation.

For those of you who didn’t, here we go.

When they were old enough to run around outside without much supervision, the reeked havoc most of the time.

We got them a basketball goal and had put it together but hadn’t stood it up yet. Those two brats went out and stood it up. Unfortunately it didn’t have any sand or water in the bottom of it so it fell right over, and landed on Kyler’s head. Stitches.

We got them a PlayStation for Christmas one year, Kyler got mad at Kade and peed all over it.

We had a shop at our house that Bill ran our painting business out of. The guys would all come there every morning, Load the work trucks up and then leave their own vehicles there for the day. For some unknown reason, my mother had bought the boys BB guns that year for Christmas and I had hid them knowing this was a terrible idea. Well they found them without me knowing it and went out and shot all the windows out of one of the workers trucks. Every window.

Our workers would get off work and it would be so hot outside and they would be covered with paint. They would wash up with a hose we had out back and usually get drinks from the house. So the boys thought it would be funny to pee in the hose. And then sat back and watched and waited on someone to get a drink.

When they were teenagers they watched the Jackass movies and began to do stunts. Then they would come home and tell me what they had done that day. I would beat on them and tell them they were never leaving the house again and I would take all the stuff out of their rooms and none of it did any good.

They fought all the time and they would slam their bedroom door until one day I had enough. I made Bill take their bedroom door down. They didn’t have a door on their room for maybe a year.

During their teenage years they fought a lot. They were at odds with each other on a daily basis. Kade was growing up and had girlfriends who he wanted to bring to the house and Kyler still wanted to be crazy and wild. Kade wanted to beat the crap out of him most days.

They got past that quite a bit after Kade graduated and started working and they were away from each other a lot. And then Kyler had Karter. Good grief. Kade love that child before he was even born. The very first thing he bought him was a Chewbacca from Build A Bear. He would go by Kyler’s house all the time because he wanted to spend time with Karter. That’s when Kyler and Kade‘s relationship changed and they became good friends as well as brothers. 

We have always had Fourth of July up here on the lake. Well, for the last eight years anyway. It’s always been a brouhaha. We’ve always done fireworks but when the boys began to buy the fireworks themselves, there was nothing better. Last year on the Fourth of July, Kyler spent four hundred dollars on fireworks and Kade spent three hundred. They are so nuts. 😂

Then came time to shoot them off 💥

They became twelve again.

Let’s see who can hold at the longest without blowing your hand off. Let’s tie these six together and see what that does. Let’s light them and hold onto him as long as we can and then throw them across the water and see what happens.

The rest of us would pull our vehicles down by bank, sitting in the car to avoid being sucked dry by the mosquitos. And it’s always hotter than a tamale. 

So there we would sit watching how beautiful the boys fireworks show was and the whole time we would be saying “OH MY GOSH!! RUN” because we were watching them taking insane chances. That’s what they’ve always done. It was just like they were kids again. And it tickled the crap out of me. We would all be laughing so hard, or yelling at them because they had scared us to death.

It was a time for our family where everything was the same when……

When we were all together every day. When We woke up together and ate together and went to bed together. When, for the kids, things were so simple.

And now here we are this year. And none of us can stand it. We talked and talked about what we’re gonna do and everybody was on a different page at first. But we all felt like this was going to affect Kyler the hardest so we are surrounding him with our protection and love and we will all get through this together

These are the things that suck so bad. Things you have to go through and can’t stand to go through it. Your mind fights your heart. I’m so sad, so angry. The anguish of this is too much to bare alone.

But…..

We are not alone in this. We have someone right by our side.

That’s where I try to have my heart stay. Knowing.

Because we get distracted by the enemy and he fills our minds up with so much dissatisfaction and dismay. Shame and harm. Self loathing and doubt about whether our Father loves us.

Those are lies. You have to start discerning the garbage from the truth. If you read your Bible, you will learn what God’s love really is. It takes a while to form that kind of relationship with our Father. It takes practice and will. But oh my God, what it feels like when you finally have an understanding of who God is and who you are to Him. I don’t know the words to make you want to crave it. You just have to trust and dive in. Head first.

And trust me, you’re going to thunk bottom a lot. Keep going. Even if you can’t feel it or see any sort of manifestation in your life. You will. God shows up for His children.

I didn’t teach my children these things. I didn’t know to teach them. I didn’t even try. That’s hard to live with now. I’m working hard all the time to help them understand.

Start early with your children. Teach them about the Holy Spirit every day. One day they won’t need you anymore, they will always need Him.

Make memories this holiday. Take lots of pictures and tell stories about all the past holidays. Create things your family will cherish. Because in the end, that’s what counts.

We miss our Kadey. Please keep us in your most fervent prayers. We count on your intercession.

Happy Fourth of July 🇺🇸

I’m an odd duck. Always have been.

It takes just a LITTLE bit to tickle the crap out of me.

Sometimes it’s a package of graham crackers I’ve squirreled away. Maybe a Scentbird I thought I’d lost. Fresh sheets. My favorite pjs being clean. And animals.

Any surprise encounter with any animal can transform thunderclouds in my heart to a song in .324 seconds. (I did the math this morning)

I have been feeling pretty bad. It’s hard to feel this bad for five weeks. It wears you out mentally and physically. Every night I go to bed and think, “Tomorrow will be the day this gets better.” And every morning for five weeks, it’s not.

Multiple Sclerosis is a constant surprise party. I had no idea. Unless you have some sort of chronic illness or are close to someone who does, you’ll not understand fully what we go through.

For instance….

I’ve started getting car sick. Terribly car sick. I’m not in the car three miles before I’m nauseated.

Kennedy moved back to Arkansas recently and Katelyn and I planned a surprise welcome home party for her this past Saturday. I wasn’t up to it to begin with. I’ve been have a hard time physically for several weeks so I was moving super slow on Saturday.

Katelyn had gotten to Kennedy’s apartment and was waiting on me. I had to go by and get the key from Kennedy without telling her what was really going on. There was a string of not-very-thought-out lies to be told to get said key, and by the time I got there, I was green 🤢.

Every acceleration and stop was a fight to not throw up. Every curve and turn I groaned through. I’m pretty sure Ken thought I was being dramatic. This is new, you see. So he’d not been in the car with me yet. It was another surprise package to unwrap with him.

We finally got to Kennedy’s apartment and I opened the door, leaned out, and threw everything up but my shoes. Ken, shocked at the voracity of my sickness, said, “Well Tracey!” And it made me laugh. Even though I kept telling him how sick I was, he didn’t get it. I soiled my cute dress and sweated through all of my hairspray.

I went inside, straight upstairs, and hooked a clean pair of sweats and a tshirt. I took my dress downstairs and threw it in the washer on speed wash. Then I had to get busy getting ready for the party. I sent Ken on errands and began to unpack everything I brought. Thank God for Katelyn. I mean it. Although she is my partner in everything celebratory, she now ends up doing nearly all the work. I am purely here for brainstorming and online shopping. She handles the rest.

She kept asking if this was okay here and what about this there, I just nodded. Past the point of even caring.

Since Katelyn’s birthday was the next day, I had brought all of her gifts and pretty paper to wrap them all in. As I pulled them from my bags, one by one, some of them still in the packaging they were shipped in, I said, “Here, this is part of your birthday. Oh! And here’s this one, and this one and this one” She didn’t even care, it made me want to cry. I had special plans for these things, now those plans didn’t matter. Well, they mattered to me, but I couldn’t pull it off. She’s my helper, I couldn’t ask her to wrap her own presents. I mean, I could have, and she would have, but that seemed un-Christian to me 🙄

Also, a cake and cookie fiasco.

I have the most lovely cake gal in the world. She was no where Saturday. She wasn’t answering my calls or texts. And it was party time. Neither Kate nor I were mad, we have used her for five years, she’s way more than accommodating to us and she puts up with all of our nonsense. We knew something was wrong. And there was, as it turned out. So she ended up needing prayers way more than we did.

Ken went on an errand and fixed it for us. Thank God for Ken. He doesn’t whatever he can to help, and never complains. Not even an eye roll. That’s why he’s my favorite.

The day didn’t go as planned. At all. Kate was stressed, I was sick. Things weren’t how we envisioned them at all. And Kennedy couldn’t have cared less. She was tickled to death and she got so many nice things. It was a party and even though the details changed, the outcome didn’t.

Okay, back to animals and little things that make me smile.

I’m still not feeling well. My doctor increased my zofran and that’s helping the nausea a little. It’s like I have morning sickness all day and night and then I get in the car and it’s a gamble on whether or not I’m going to toss my cookies. Add this to pain level, mental health issues and fatigue and I’m a train wreck.

So God sends me little pick me ups.

I got a big ol’ chicken snake in my Rose of Sharon tree last week, I had a herd of squirrels on my front porch in the bird food can I forgot to put the lid back on. Several herons who came up to the yard to squawk at me, Velociraptor like. And this morning I got a possum.

I was sitting on the front porch listening to music and something caught my eye. I just got her back half and tail as she was walking under the front porch. I know, you’re thinking that’s gross. Everyone is freaked out by a possum. But not me. I think they are hysterical. And it tickled me to no end knowing that there was one practically right under my feet. She was as fat as a town cat which made me think she probably had babies in her little pouch. I tried to FaceTime Belle and she wouldn’t answer but Ken had just left for work so I called him. We talked about how big she was and that I needed to maybe leave some cat food for her on the front porch. He was excited because I was excited.

We hung up the phone but he called me right back and asked me what I was going to name her. I said, “oh my goodness, What’s that woman’s name who was in the Mama’s and the Papa’s and sang ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’?!” He replied immediately “Mama Cass!” I told him that that was it! She looked like Mama Cass!

I know for most people this sounds silly. But for just a minute I forgot how awful I felt and I was excited and happy. That’s God. He tends to me in such a personal way. He knows exactly what’s going to lift me up. If you had a sick child you would know exactly want to cook for her and what to flick on the TV for her and you would know exactly the things to say to make her as comfortable as possible. That’s what God does. For whatever reason, He has chosen not to heal me from all of this. Because I know He is sovereign, I have faith that He has a reason for that. But I also know because He is sovereign that He is going to walk me through it with joy if I will just listen to Him and look for Him in all the quiet places.

In all the things that went on Saturday, it was all okay. I’ve learned not to panic and I’ve learned that at the end of the day things are just going to be OK. And they were. It takes time to learn how to meet God in His place instead of yours. Once you do, it is a game changer. That is His peace that passes all understanding.

It’s not easy. The devil trips you up everywhere he can. He’s constantly stirring the pot. The key is to stop and remember that he really doesn’t control the spoon. So you can take it from him anytime you want to. I pray a prayer every day that the Holy Spirit opens my eyes so I can see what he sees. That way I can see the spoon.

I’m still nauseated. My arm feels like it’s on fire. I dropped my coffee cup this morning because my hands aren’t working. I’m speaking into my microphone this morning to blog. I’m also sad this morning, it’s almost the Fourth of July and my Kadey isn’t here this year.

But I have a possum under my front porch.

Which made me smile.

I know my Father is working everything out for me all the time. I’m white as snow to Him no matter how filthy I get. I’m His. There is such a freedom in that. I know that everything is going to be ok. If not here, then there. Embrace that. You have to learn how then practice and practice. I still fail daily in all of this. But I have hope. And I have faith.

And….

God is good every day.